Retrieval practice is an effective learning strategy that improves students’ long-term knowledge retention and strengthens their ability to retain and apply knowledge. By actively retrieving information from memory, students engage in a process that accelerates learning and strengthens connections in their brains. In this blog post I share the methods that worked for me in elementary school.
Flashcard Quizzes
An effective activity to incorporate retrieval practice is to use flashcard quizzes. Create flashcards with key facts, vocabulary, or concepts relevant to your program.Engage students individually or in pairs by asking them to retrieve information from flashcards. Encourage students to explain their answers to deepen their understanding and strengthen the research process.

​Incorporating short quizzes into your lessons is an effective way to practice finding information. Offer short quizzes at the beginning or end of the lesson, asking questions that require students to recall information from previous lessons or chapters. Give students immediate feedback, highlighting correct answers and clarifying any misunderstandings to support further learning.

In order to make this process more study-oriented, individual student ID cards should be provided for use in pairs or small groups. A game scenario like “Connect 4” or “Nothing and TicToes,” where students take turns setting up a counter when the information is read correctly, can add more fun but also bring structure and routine to the process.

Exit Tickets are a valuable tool for assessing student understanding at the end of a lesson. Ask questions or suggestions about the content discussed. The students react individually and thus have the opportunity to practice the research. Review the answers to identify strengths and areas that need further strengthening to enable targeted instruction. In this vlog post, I already talked about how to finish classes well.
Recovery Nets
Recovery Nets provide students with an engaging and interactive activity to practice recovery. Design grids with categories or topics that fit your schedule. Distribute the incomplete grids to students and encourage them to fill in the missing information from memory. Encourage discussion and collaboration with your peers and allow students to deepen their understanding through meaningful conversations. More information can be found here.
Two-Part Questions
Unlike most of these suggestions, you can use two-part questions throughout the lesson. Instead of making recovery an isolated event, think about integrating it into your core activities and questions. A simple example would be to ask students to remember the meaning of the position when learning the scope. When the side lengths are divided by 100, 10 and 1, children are challenged to reinterpret the values ​​before calculating the perimeter.
Intelligently designed two-stage exercises can make information retrieval easier while allowing new knowledge to be consolidated.

​It should be emphasized that the research goal should be intelligently combined with a suitable learning goal so that the activity does not seem too random or confusing. No child wants to memorize the properties of gases and liquids while simplifying fractions – that would be cognitive overload!

Two-Minute Summaries
At the end of the lesson, give students two minutes to summarize what they have learned. This activity encourages students to practice searching for information and helps them extract important ideas and details. By sharing summaries with fellow students, students engage in discussions and strengthen their understanding through a process of inquiry and collaborative learning. The two-minute summary can be completed as pictures for younger students or as diagrams and brief reports for older students.
Last week, last month, last year.
A more strategic approach to recovery planning is also useful.The less confident children are in remembering the required information, the more frequently these opportunities should be offered. It is also a good idea to ask students to recall what has been taught in previous topics and courses. Asking students questions about the past week, month, semester, and year can help ensure you plan specific opportunities to seek information over time. Apps like Century can also do this for you automatically.

A practical tip would be to add key questions from current topics to a question bank and use them as research questions.Then, ensure that key concepts are reviewed regularly throughout the year.
Justification Questions
Practicing information retrieval can lead to a closed question approach when students need to remember information such as phonics and number facts. Kate Jone talks about how using deeper research skills can deepen your understanding of facts beyond the surface. Using “evidence” questions when making a claim with a right or wrong answer requires children to remember what they have learned to support their arguments on a deeper level. The simulation questions are open-ended questions that ask
children to use what they have learned to predict an outcome based on evidence of their previous learning.

This type of questioning is more demanding and requires more effort from students, but the more they engage in these questions, the better they will become and the more detailed and deeper they will remember them. Scaffolds are really useful and I created them here for you.